About Bernard W. Bail, M.D.
My name is Bernard W. Bail, M.D. I am and
have been a practicing psychoanalyst for the past 50 years. I
am a member and training analyst at the Los Angeles Psychoanalytic
Society and Institute as well as a member of the American and
International Psychoanalytic Associations. At the American,
I am Chair of the ongoing discussion group Infant Mental Life
and the Dream in Psychoanalysis. My training included eight
years of a classical analysis with Dr. Carl Van der Heide and
then twelve years of psychoanalysis with Dr. Wilfred Bion. This
website presents a new paradigm for psychoanalysis, the result
of my psychoanalytic research over these many years. I
offer them for your reading, and commentary.
When Freud discovered the unconscious, everything
seemed possible. The new field he built around his discovery,
psychoanalysis, offered mankind a dizzying possibility: to be
free from the forces that constrain him, free from forces that
compel him to pursue the wrong paths even as his conscious mind
condemns those paths. Yet to simply find a name for these unconscious
forces - a name like "repetition compulsion," for example - did
not diminish or eradicate them. So as the decades passed there
was a problem, borne out in the analyst's office: psychoanalysis
did not provide the results we had hoped for. It was the failure
of Freud's paradigm to actually heal us that led to the great
proliferation of theories we have now, each taking a piece of
the great master's overarching theory in order to form a nucleus
of its own.
Freud believed that drugs would one day supersede
his theoretical structure by curing mental and emotional diseases
themselves. But no pill can make an interpretation to a human
being in suffering; only another human being, one who is knowledgeable
enough, can do that. Still, Freud knew that one day his elaborate
structure would be left behind the same way that all great discoveries
are abandoned when more encompassing, truer visions may be seen,
visions made possible by the work of those who have gone before.
No such vision has yet emerged in psychoanalysis, despite our
hope and longing.
Today, there is a crisis in the field. Psychoanalytic
societies and institutes are impoverished in numbers, in belief,
and in enthusiasm. Fewer and fewer people seek out the help that
analysts can offer. Entrance into the societies is down; all
over the world institutes lament the lack of new applicants entering
into psychoanalytic training. This can only mean one thing: that
the common wisdom of the young agrees that what we have to offer
does not make them catch fire - eager to enlist with a passion
in an arduous journey that once might have promised the keys
to the secrets of the heart and mind, and the dreams that plague
I have given the problem of psychoanalysis a great
deal of thought over these years. Now, I wish to present my own
theory and solution to the problem. The thesis I am putting
forward here has been tested for years and years, and so far
has not been found wanting. I trust you will consider it with
due care. I call this work holistic psychoanalysis for
it includes the mind, body, and the spiritual. Indeed, I
am convinced that the study of dreams consecutively and deeply
leads to spiritual knowledge.
So to pause for a moment, this is who we are,
this is why we are here - to share the knowledge that I have
accumulated in the past fifty years for your thinking and consideration.
Bernard W. Bail, M.D.
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